I NEVER ask my husband for plot or writing ideas. He's not a writer. He's hardly even a reader. I don't even want him reading MY stuff. It's just better that way. It works for us.
Anyway, desperate times call for desperate measures. I knew going in that asking him for help was probably not going to go well (past experience has dictated this...he thought radioactive zombie chickens would be a cool addition to my zombie western novel. Ummm....no). I've tried bouncing ideas off of him before only to have him say something like, "Yeah. Uh-huh. Sounds good. What's for dinner?"
But I'm at a place in the second book of the zombie west series where something BIG is about to happen. Something awesome. Something amazing. Something explosive. Except....I have no idea what it is. I'm completely and utterly stuck.
My creative muse gave me the bird and took off for the hills (she's cruel like that), and I've been left on my own to make some action happen. Well... it's not happening. Just a lot of blank pages and a little annoying blinking cursor that mocks my efforts.
So I turned to my husband in a weak moment and broke down my plot for him and where each of my characters stood. He listened and then he started blasting off ideas, "How about this? Or how about that?" His ideas weren't so bad. It actually shocked me how good some of them actually were. I think I might actually use some of them.
Weird. What happened to my husband? Who is this imposter?
"See," he said. "I'm helpful. You don't always have to trash my ideas. They're not as bad as you think." I nodded. He was right. I needed to give him more credit.
"Now," he continued. "If a rope could drop from the sky and your heroine is lifted to safety by helicopter THAT would be a great ending. Just like the movies."
And there you have it. THAT'S my husband for ya. It was all good until THAT moment. A helicopter? My novel is set in the late 1800's in the wild west. Nice. Anyway, his help really got me thinking and now I might be onto writing that awesome, exciting scene that has been kicking my behind for months now. And no, there will be no helicopters...though I could see how he might think that was cool.
Who helps you brainstorm ideas? How do you get past a bout of writers block or lack of creative inspiration? Is your spouse helpful in your writing process? Tell me all about it, I'd love to know.